A Guide to Ordering Sympathy Flowers
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A Guide to Ordering Sympathy Flowers

Need help ordering sympathy flowers? This blog post should help.

Flowers have always been a symbol for expressing what words cannot. Floral arrangements are the perfect sympathy gifts for sending heartfelt sympathies and condolences to bereaved friends and family members. Having sympathy flowers delivered to a loved one or family members of the deceased, or to commemorate someone you’ve lost, can be a way to convey a message of support and comfort when the right words feel hard to find.

If you are looking to order a sympathy flower arrangement, you may have some questions that feel personal or sensitive in nature. To help you navigate this delicate task, Wild North Flowers has compiled a list of common etiquette questions regarding ordering sympathy flowers.

Should the flowers be sent to a public service or a private residence?

Some people prefer to send funeral flowers, such as wreaths or casket sprays, as a contribution to the memorial service. Some people prefer to send sympathy flowers as a contribution to the funeral or memorial service. This is a way to publically show support for the family of the deceased and is traditionally where flowers are sent from colleagues and work associates. Sending flowers to a public service helps contribute to a beautiful memorial event. To do so, you will need to know the address of the funeral home or place of worship, as well as the time the service is taking place. This information can often be found via an obituary, or on the website of the funeral home itself. A time-sensitive delivery may need to be organized based on the venue’s requirements, and so the more information you can provide to your florist the better.

When sending flowers to a funeral home, make sure to include the full name of the deceased, such as "In memory of John Smith" or "Family of John Smith".

Others opt to send flowers to the immediate family and loved ones affected by the loss to offer some comfort at home. This option is less time sensitive. It is generally accepted to wait a few days, or even weeks, after the funeral and/or memorial services have concluded before sending flowers to the family's home to serve as a gesture of continued support.  

When is it appropriate to send sympathy flowers?

Many people are overwhelmed with support in the days immediately following a death. But grief is not short-lived, and letting someone know you are thinking of them weeks or even months after a tragic death can mean a lot.

Many people choose to send flowers on the anniversary of a death, as this is often a very difficult and lonely time for those who have lost someone.

What kind of sympathy flower arrangement is appropriate?

There is no right answer to this one. The sympathy flowers you order should express love and reflect your own personal message.

People sending flowers for a funeral or memorial service might want to consider a contemporary design that is ceremonious and elegant, perhaps in a footed vessel or tall vase.

People choosing to send sympathy flowers to a family home tend to opt for glass vase arrangements that are easy to keep watered and more suited to spaces in a home setting. Dried flower arrangements are also a great option to send to a private residence, as they require little care and will last much longer than fresh flowers as a sentimental tribute.

Those who are ordering traditional funeral flower arrangements, such as a casket spray, will want to consider if the design should be one-sided or two-sided when placing the order. Casket sprays are typically ordered by the immediate family of the deceased.

What varieties of flowers should I order for a funeral?

variety of white sympathy flower blooms

If you'd like to send flowers to a funeral home as a sympathy gift to family members of the deceased, the most popular flowers to include in a funeral bouquet are:

  • Roses (both white roses and pink roses are funeral appropriate)

  • Peace lilies (and other white lilies)

  • White chrysanthemums

  • Carnations

  • Orchids

  • Gladiolus

However, if these flowers are not available or in season, don't fret! A skilled florist will still be able to create beautiful funeral flower arrangements using other flowers, while still adhering to funeral flower etiquette.

What colour flowers should I include in funeral flower arrangements?

When sending flowers to a funeral service, it can be tricky to navigate funeral flower etiquette, as not all colours are suited for a funeral home.

White flowers are the most common emblem for feelings of sympathy and condolences. Ordering a floral arrangement or wreaths with an all-white palette symbolizes peace and honour.

Pink and blue flowers are also customary for use at a funeral service. Each can be incorporated into a "soft and subtle" palette.

Another option is to choose a floral arrangement with a bright and uplifting colour palette (yellow roses are popular for this purpose). This is most often seen at funerals or memorial services that are seen more as a celebration of life for the departed soul.

Favourite colours and flower varieties of the deceased are personal touches that can be applied to colour palette choices, if seasonally available.

Are there any flowers I should avoid when sending sympathy flowers?

This is a question that does require some thought and discernment based on various cultural traditions that the family practices.

For example, some may find a red rose to be a symbol of a life lived with love and passion. However, Asian cultures associate red flowers with different meanings and they would not be appropriate to send to a funeral or memorial service.

It’s best to do a little research if you are unsure of what is customary to the service or the family's wishes or ask your florist for advice on sympathy flowers.

What should my sympathy card say?

It’s normal to struggle with finding the right words to say in your sympathy message. Try keeping things simple and sincere, and add a personal touch if appropriate. Always remember to address the family of the deceased and sign your full name.

Some words to include in a condolence message are:

  • “I am so sorry for your loss.”

  • “My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”

  • “Wishing you comfort and peace.”

  • “My deepest condolences.”

  • “I am here for you.”

Order Sympathy and Funeral Flowers in Toronto & the GTA

Visit Wild North Flowers’ Sympathy Collection here if you would like to order sympathy flowers in Toronto and the GTA. We offer same day delivery and can customize your order as needed. Let us help you send a fresh, comforting and unique sympathy floral arrangement.

May 01, 2023 by Jennifer Fowlow

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